Boko Haram

Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria; also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.

Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002; currently lead by Abubakar Shekau.

Should not be referred to as Boko.

Avoid lazy translation: Boko Haram is often translated as “western education is forbidden” but boko is a Hausa word best understood as “inauthentic” or “fake,” according to Hausa language expert Paul Newman: It is “a word that came to be applied to a century-old British colonial education policy that many Hausa-speakers saw as an attempt, more-or-less, to colonize their minds.”

As of April 2015, refers to itself as Wilayat Garb Afriqiya, (Province of West Africa) a province of the Islamic State group. Previously Jamā’atu Ahli is-Sunnah lid-Da’wati wal-Jihād (People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad)

Has the distinction of being the deadliest terror organization in the world; killed 11,000 people in 2015, according to the Council on Foreign Relations and “accounted for half the world’s terrorism deaths” in 2014, according to the Atlantic Council.

Noted for using adolescent girls as suicide bombers.

Linked to al-Shabaab.

Shekau pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on March 7, 2015; official IS publications referred to Boko Haram as Wilayat Garb Afriqiya on March 31 and April 23.